Deal Watch: Translation company finds opportunity

| Print |  Email
Articles - March 2010
Thursday, February 18, 2010
BY JON BELL

BELIEVE IT OR NOT, there is no word or expression in the Japanese language for “nose wipe thumb panel.”

But Hood River action sports company DaKine still needed to market that feature of its snowboarding gloves to riders in Japan, so they put Portland translation company viaLanguage on the job.

“Sometimes we’re localizing not just for a region, but to a specific target audience,” says Chanin Ballance, CEO of the 10-year-old viaLanguage, “because there just aren’t words or expressions in other languages.”

Ballance’s company, which she originally co-founded in 2000 as a rapid editing firm, announced its first acquisition in January after it picked up long-time partner Planet Productions, a Portland e-learning company. Now called viaLearning, Planet used to develop web-based training programs for the likes of Intel, then bring them to viaLanguage for translation.

With one of viaLanguage’s three focus areas being education — the other two are health care and marketing — Ballance says bringing Planet Productions in-house will help better serve the growing number of companies around the globe who’ve shifted to web-based training.

The move was good for Planet Productions as well, which Ballance says was in need of a “critical partner.” ViaLanguage, which employs 40 in Portland and has more than 1,000 contracted translators worldwide, brought just a few of Planet’s core folks on board.

Now in the $5 million to $10 million range, viaLanguage counts among its corporate clients Nike, Microsoft and Cisco, for whom the company translates and localizes everything from marketing materials to product information.

Ballance says viaLanguage will be broadening its services this year with technology to help optimize website search results and meet translation demands for social media and interactive learning platforms. There may be another acquisition in the near future as well.

“We do intend on diversifying ourselves even more,” Ballance says, “so you might see another one from us here soon.”

MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS
PRICE EXP. CLOSE BUYER / PARENT (HQ) SELLER / PARENT (HQ) ANNOUNCED
$16.5 M Q1 MathStar (Hillsboro) Sajan (WI) 1/11
ND Q1 AboutUs/(Portland) Jyte.com/JanRain (HQ) 1/14
ND Q1 Jive (Portland) Filtrbox (CO) 1/7
ND Q1 Pinnacle Healthcare (Springfield) Hearthstone/Asante Health System (Medford) 1/8
ND Q1 Portland Monthly/SagaCity Media (Portland) Aspen Sojourner, et al/HPJ Media Ventures Fund (CA) 1/12
ND Q1 Powered (TX) StepChange (Portland) 1/11
ND Q1 USB Implementers Forum (Beaverton) Personal Computer Card International Association (CA) 1/21
ND Q1 Precision Castparts (Portland) Yangzhou Chengde Steel Tube (China) 1/15
ND Q1 viaLanguage (Portland) Planet Productions (Portland) 1/5
CAPITAL RAISING AND CONTRACTS
PRICE (TYPE) COMPANY (HQ) / LEADERSHIP INVESTOR (HQ) ANNOUNCED
$40M (fuel-efficient truck grant) Daimler Trucks North America (Portland)/Martin Daum U.S. Dept. of Energy 1/12
$16M (residential re-entry center contract) Oregon Halfway House (Portland)/Steven Wax U.S. Dept. of Justice 1/20
$10M (venture investment) Avnera (Beaverton)/Manpreet Khaira Onkyo (NJ) 1/16
$10M (rights offering) West Coast Bancorp (Lake Oswego)/Robert Sznewajs Common Shareholders 1/29
ND (organic fiber order) Naturally Advanced Technologies (Portland)/Ken Barker Hanesbrands (NC) 1/5
ND (renewable energy contract) Iberdrola Renewables (Portland)/Ralph Currey Tennessee Valley Authority (TN) 1/14
REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS
PRICE BUYER / PARENT (HQ) REAL ESTATE (LOCATION) / SELLER (HQ) ANNOUNCED
$1.15 B Blackstone (NY) 134 assisted-living properties (various)/Sunwest Management (Salem) 1/20
$57M KBD Realty Advisors (CA) One Main Place office tower (Portland)/RREEF Realty Investments (NY) 1/23
$12.7M S-Cap 09-5080 (DE) 69 foreclosed homes (OR and WA)/West Coast Bank (Lake Oswego) 1/6
$11.1M ND Manufacturing plant (Hong Kong)/Merix (Beaverton) 1/4
$6.1M Metro 1,143 acres (Forest Grove)/Stimson Lumber (Portland) 1/8
$2.85M Garibaldi Hospitality (Wilsonville) Comfort Inn hotel (Garibaldi)/Jae Lee (Garibaldi) 1/11
$2.1M Stan Hubert (Vancouver) 28,800 sq. ft./industrial (Vancouver)/Boespflug Development 1/29
$1.9M National Glass Industries (Canada) 28,000 sq. ft./industrial (Portland)/OPUS Northwest (Portland) 1/5
$1.3M Teasdale Apartments LLC (Portland) Teasdale Apartments (Portland)/L. Swick (Portland) 1/12
$650,000 Boomtown Partners (Bend) 6,900-sq.-ft. retail building (Bend)/Mark and Michelle Capps (Bend) 1/14
$1.1M Twinstar Credit Union (WA) retail space (Vancouver)/First Independent Bank (Vancouver) 1/8
$515,000 Jara United (Portland) 8-plex (Vancouver)/9621 E. Mill Plain (Portland) 1/12
 

More Articles

Up on the Roof

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

In 2010 Vanessa Keitges and several investors purchased Portland-based Columbia Green Technologies, a green-roof company. The 13-person firm has a 200% annual growth rate, exports 30% of its product to Canada and received its first infusion of venture capital in 2014 from Yaletown Venture Partners. CEO Keitges, 40, a Southern Oregon native who serves on President Obama’s Export Council, talks about market innovation, scaling small business and why Oregon is falling behind in green-roof construction. 


Read more...

Brain Storm

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY CAMILLE GRIGSBY-ROCCA

Can the brave new world of neurotechnology help an OHSU surgeon find a cure for obesity?


Read more...

Child care challenge

September 2015
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
0927OHSUhealthystarts-thumbBY KIM MOORE AND LINDA BAKER

Child care in Oregon is expensive and hard to find. We delved into the numbers and talked to a few executives and managers about day care costs, accessibility and work-life balance.


Read more...

Photo Log: Shooting 10 innovators in rural health care

The Latest
Monday, August 03, 2015
007blogBY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

You may have noticed the photos of our rural health innovators departed from the typical Oregon Business aesthetic.


Read more...

Bendafornia: What’s driving the Northern California migration?

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, August 05, 2015
bendiforniathumbBY KEN MAES

A huge migration from Northern California has contributed to average 16% growth per year since 1990.


Read more...

Farm in a Box

July/August 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Most of the food Americans consume is trucked in from hundreds of miles away. Eric Wilson, co-founder and CEO of Gro-volution, wants to change that. So this past spring, the Air Force veteran and former greenhouse manager started work on an alternative farming system he claims is more efficient than conventional agriculture, and also shortens the distance between the consumer and the farm.


Read more...

Downtime with Jill Nelson

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Live, Work, Play wit the CEO of Ruby Receptionists.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS